The most common cause of paid claims for malpractice at 28.6 percent is making errors in diagnosis, not overdoses or even surgical mistakes, according to a recent study.

More than 100,000 payments for diagnostic error occurred from 1986 to 2010, with these errors accounting for 33.8 percent of the disabilities and almost 40 percent of the deaths that resulted in malpractice payments.

Errors related to treatment and surgery were second and third most common, and all other errors combined – obstetric, medication, monitoring, anesthesia and the rest – accounted for only 20 percent of malpractice payments.

“At the policy level, there is no institute that views it as their problem,” said Dr. David E. Newman-Toker, an associate professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins, who believes physicians, hospitals and insurers all need to contribute to fix this widespread and devastating problem.

“There’s a lot of room for improvement,” he continued. “You can’t get the treatment right if you don’t get the diagnosis right.” Read the full story here:

Why Doctors Are Sued

Studies continue to confirm that more patients are harmed by doctors failing to properly diagnose their ailments than by any other mistake. This is why it is so important for doctors to follow the rules of differential diagnoses and take steps to rule out the most urgent life-threatening dangers, rather than making assumptions about what they believe to be the proper diagnosis.

If you or a family member believe you have a medical malpractice case, including errors or delay in diagnosis, contact Crandall & Pera Law today for a free case evaluation. Crandall & Pera Law is available to help answer your questions and guide you in determining your next steps.